Not quite so cheery? We feel you. And if those blues are taking a toll on you or someone you know, we’ve got your back.
Last week, we asked you to get honest with us about your personal struggles during the holidays. Your stories have been deeply moving and we’re grateful you were willing to open up. We’ll be sharing out your stories on Friday, but for now, we want you to know you’re not alone.
It’s not unusual to feel a little stressed or lonely this time of year, says Ashley Fontaine, executive director at Seattle’s National Alliance on Mental Health. There’s social pressure to spend money on gifts and we can feel isolated from our families.
Ashley’s recommendation? Make time to take care of yourself. Stay active, make sure you don’t overdo it on sugar and alcohol, or just give yourself permission to feel crummy if that’s where you’re at. Just like going to the doctor for a check-up, she said, it’s important to talk through how you’re feeling with someone, whether it’s through a helpline or talk therapy.
“People should treat mental health preventatively,” Ashley says. “Being open about that helps other people see that they don’t need to be doing poorly to get help.”
Not in crisis, but having a rough week?
You can call the “warm” line at Seattle’s Crisis Clinic. Whoever answers the phone will offer an empathetic ear; everyone there has worked through tough stuff themselves. The idea is to offer support before someone’s struggles “rise to a crisis level,” says Letha Myers, the clinic’s volunteer services manager. (In fact, Letha says up to a quarter of the clinic’s volunteers get support from the crisis line themselves, so they offer their time to help give back).
Whether your week’s worn you down or you have an emergency, there’s always somewhere you can turn to. Here’s where to call if:
– You’re reeling from a bad day: Call the warm line at Seattle’s Crisis Clinic line from 5 – 9 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday at 877-500-9276. Closed Christmas Day.
– You’re in crisis: Call the National Suicide Prevention Line at 800-273-8255 or Crisis Clinic’s 24/7 crisis line at 866-427-4747
– Your teenager needs support: Call the Teen Link line at Seattle’s Crisis Clinic from 6 – 10 p.m. at 866-833-6546
– You need shelter, rent assistance, or other resources: Call King County’s service line at 2-1-1
If all this is stirring something up for you that you want to share, even anonymously, e-mail it to us at [email protected] by 6 p.m. today. We may share your story out as part of our Holiday Struggle Project and help your neighbors out.
Take care out there!
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Way too fast… At least three people died on Monday when an Amtrak train from Seattle jumped the tracks on its way to Portland. Now we might know why: The train was going 80 mph when it should’ve been going 30 mph. Why the speed? Investigators are on it. Meanwhile, people are remembering two people who died in the crash: Zack Willhoite and Jim Hamre. They were buddies, train nerds, and rail travel advocates, and they boarded that 6 a.m. ride because it was the first to travel a brand new route. (The Seattle Times)
Healthy for the holidays. Here’s a roundup of 19 go-to healthy food spots in the city, like Frankie & Jo’s vegan ice cream in Capitol Hill, and Eve in Fremont — a spot that’s “become a daily haunt for people carrying yoga mats.” (Seattle Met)
Ever heard of ‘hostile architecture’? It’s what you call a structure in a public place that seems designed to keep people away. And by the looks of it, the term applies pretty well to a set of bike racks the city installed in Belltown in September. The city told The Stranger that they’re part of a “strategy for lessening the hazards of unsheltered living by creating space for a different active public use” — but according to Jeff Few, who lives across the street, hardly anyone actually uses them. Tom Fucoloro, who pushes for more bike parking in the city, said the installation of these particular bike racks make him feel ill. “Bike racks are for improving bike access to businesses and other destinations,” Tom wrote, “not for forming a physical impediment to our neighbors who are just looking for a dry place to sleep.” (The Stranger)
Look who made a lot of kids real happy. Michael Bennett traded his Seahawks uniform for a Santa suit at a holiday party yesterday for homeless families. The event was put on by Mary’s Place, which runs shelters in the city and is raising $1.5 million to bring 800 more kids and families in from the cold. Thanks to Michael for the smiles, and reader Darby Bundy for the tip. (Instagram)
Send us a pic! See more upcoming events (and submit your own) on our events page.
The brand new bike and pedestrian trail on the 520 bridge opens today at 3 p.m. Take in the views of Lake Washington along all 7,708.5 feet, and enjoy that little rush you get when you stroll right along next to standstill rush-hour traffic. 😉
We’ll see you tomorrow. — The Evergrey
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